“I have songs in my head from so many languages and people. I know my sound is in the middle of this whole.” – Taj Mahal
One of Canada’s finest young songwriters, Joel brings his solo acoustic act to Mariposa for the first time. Recognized by critics, peers and audiences for his outstanding talents, Joel will thrill our Friday night mainstage crowd with his unique blend of acoustic folk-rock.
Friday night, Hayden will be one of the headline acts on Mainstage at Mariposa. The Toronto based musician began recording in the early 1990’s. Audiences at Mariposa will get to see what all the buzz is about – this is one of Canada’s best singer songwriters, appearing at Mariposa for the first time.
A lovely voice….great lyrics…..memorable tunes….. a true professional with an incredibly tight band. These are the things you can expect from Sarah Harmer. See her Sunday night on Mainstage!
Though many of the songs on Horse Soldier! tell tales of foreign lands, Lund has built his career by spinning distinctly Albertan anecdotes for the past decade, on gold-selling albums like 2002’s Five Dollar Bill and 2005’s Hair In My Eyes Like A Highland Steer. There are more than a few horse stories on those records as well.
An award winning songwriter, John has facilitated many songwriting workshops, including the Alberta Songwriting Centennial Project. John is a professional singer/songwriter who will be performing at the Mariposa Folk Festival.
Dare we call her a Canadian icon? Yes…we do. Connie Kaldor is one of the finest performers in Canada and Mariposa is proud to have her grace our stage this year. Witty, charming, wonderful… there are any number of ways to describe Connie and her music.
John Gorka’s stunningly soulful baritone voice and amazingly unique songwriting comes to Mariposa’s mainstage this year via New York, Kerrville Folkfestival, Austin City Limits and a host of other impressive venues.
Leela Gilday is one of the North’s better known performing artists and she’s well on the way to becoming one of Canada’s better known performers. Her second album, Sedze, won the 2007 Juno for Aboriginal Recording of the Year.
When you see Pavlo on stage, you get a dazzling show of guitar wizardry and a mix of instruments which produce a fascinating blend of Mediterranean, flamenco and latin sound. Experience Pavlo on Saturday night on the Mainstage.
This Toronto based foursome is hell bent on showing people a good time. Armed with a repertoire ranging from darkly witty Dylan-esque tunes to stompers worthy of Motorhead, they’ve been reaching out to audiences far and wide. Come see for yourself. And this is your chance to hear “The Orillia Song” live and in person!
Sultans of String return to Mariposa following their triumphant appearance in 2008. Riding high on a wave of Indie Music Awards nominations and multiple Juno nominations, Chris McKhool and his fellow band members are ready once again to your ears. Sultans of String thrill their audiences with their global sonic tapestry of Spanish Flamenco, Arabic folk, Cuban rhythms, and French Manouche Gypsy-jazz, celebrating musical fusion and human creativity with warmth and virtuosity. Fiery violin dances with rumba-flamenco guitar while a funk bass lays down unstoppable grooves. Acoustic strings meet with electronic wizardry to create layers and depth of sound, while world rhythms excite audiences to their feet with the irresistible need to dance.
See why Alex Cuba – who won Juno for best world music on April 5 – is so well respected and why his music is so enticing. Alex and his trio will be bringing their magic to Mainstage at Mariposa this year. Let’s hope Alex plays his song “Mariposa!”
A unique folk artist whose lyrics and music combine flawlessly, Annie brings her Ann Arbor background and rich experience to Mariposa this year. Whether it’s a tuneful ode to whiskey going straight to her head or a father’s “treasure” Annie’s voice, lyrics and tunes will have audiences enthralled.
How often does a young songwriter bring – and deserve – comparisons to folk icons James Taylor and Cat Stevens? Mariposa’s artistic committee was blown away by his music, his stage presence and his enthusiasm when they first saw him “live.” Judge for yourself when you see and hear Brian Macmillan on our Mariposa stages this year!
DAVID ESSIG was introduced to Canadian audiences in 1971 as a “talented newcomer” at the legendary Mariposa Folk Festival. Now, over 30 years later, he is considered one of Canada’s finest interpreters of original, contemporary folk music. Always paying homage to his roots in Bluegrass and Country Blues, David uses these traditions to create new songs that are both timely and timeless. His intense energy and incisive wit have made him a favourite with audiences around the world…
Known for her “watercolour voice” and solid guitar style, Eve Goldberg is a compelling writer and interpreter whose music spans folk, blues, country, swing, bluegrass, and gospel. A favourite at festivals, folk clubs and concert series across Canada and the U.S, she has released three albums to widespread acclaim.
Great Lake Swimmers have been compared to Nick Drake, Iron and Wine, Red House Painters, and “After the Gold Rush”-era Neil Young. They were awarded the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Galaxie Rising Star Award in March 2005 and were voted Favourite Folk/Roots Artist at the 2004 Canadian Independent Music Awards. Come to Mariposa this year to see and hear this incredible group.
Harry Manx has been called an “essential link” between the music of East and West, creating musical short stories that wed the tradition of the Blues with the depth of classical Indian ragas. He has created a unique sound that is hard to forget and deliciously addictive to listen to.
Is there any other performer, anywhere and in any genre, who can play so many instruments so well? It is doubtful. The word virtuoso springs to mind when thinking of J.P. Cormier. Then, to top off his incredible skill with the guitar, fiddle, banjo or mandolin, the man can sing and write songs of heartbreaking beauty. Mariposa happily welcomes J.P. back to Orillia!
A singer-songwriter and story teller described as having a marmalade voice, Jory Nash is the quintessential folk minstrel. His music weaves together elements of folk, jazz, blues, pop & soul. With thoughtful lyrics and intricate melodies, he draws the audience close. With easy humour, engaging banter and colourful stories, he wins them over. A man of many hats, Jory has served on the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals Board, as Artistic Director of the Shelter Valley Folk Festival, and produced the Gordon Lightfoot tribute show, The Way We Feel. Among many other musical credits are six albums, many tours, numerous awards and lots of airplay.
Ken Whiteley is one of Canada’s pre-eminent performing artists. He’s been called a “playing encyclopaedia” for his vast repertoire, command of a wide variety of styles (including blues, gospel, swing, folk and his own compositions), and his prodigious ability on over a dozen instruments . His songs have been covered by half a dozen artists and his walls are adorned with a dozen gold and multiple platinum records, but it is the immense joy that communicates from all his musical endeavors that make his work so unique.
He went to school with Liza Minelli; his alma mater was featured in “Dead Poet’s Society”; he went to San Francisco in the Summer of Love; he had a hit song about a dead skunk; he appeared on M*A*S*H, the TV show…. And now he’s appearing at Mariposa. Welcome Loudon Wainwright III.
Making a name for himself in Canadian folk circles, Nathan Rogers combines the great voice he inherited from his dad and his own skills as a songwriter and guitarist to deliver music that is both evocative and original.
“He has a wonderfully soulful voice and a great sense of melody that makes me want to write and sing better and try harder.” That’s how Ron Sexsmith, a giant in the world of songwriting, feels about Peter Elkas. High praise indeed!
Prepare to be soothed, amused and bathed in the glorious sound of three-part harmony. “Quirky,” “comedic banter” and “beautiful melodies” are just three descriptors for this lively trio. Check them out!
Australian David Ross Macdonald graces our stage this year at Mariposa with his incredible talents – singing, songwriting, guitar playing and who knows what else. Fans of the Waifs, his “other” musical gig, will see a different side of that band’s percussionist.
For a while, The Foggy Hogtown Boys may have been a well kept secret, but apparently there have been some leaks. Over the last five years, an ever-widening audience has been raving about the band! We hope that the Mariposa audiences will be raving as well when they experience the band on our workshop stages.
The Funky Mamas have been shaking up the adult friendly children’s entertainment scene since 1998. These musical women are hip and bring to the stage professionalism, experience and a colourful and memorable performance.
George Hewison’s first public performance was at a festival in Parksville on Vancouver Island in 1960 not long after his voice changed from soprano to bass. He has since performed across the country and abroad on radio and television, in coffee houses, night clubs, theatres, concerts (large and small) rallies, conventions, picket lines, and festivals large and small. We welcome him back to Mariposa this year.
A keen wit, with a brutally honest turn of phrase, and a capacity for capturing the simple beauty of his subject matter, award winning spoken word artist Holmes Hooke is sought out as a performer and host by festivals and clubs the world over. This “national treasure” (CBC) has recorded three CDs, illustrated and authored a children’s book, and has had compositions performed by over 40 artists. Recently, his poem, Plant A Tree, was included in a capsule buried in Scotland, to be opened in a huge ceremony one hundred years from now. Holmes says he definitely plans to be there.
James Gordon is one of Canada’s most prolific songwriters, well known for his songs about social justice, heritage and environmental issues. His classic, Frobisher Bay, has been recorded and performed by hundreds of artists world-wide and was an audition piece for Canadian Idol. His song, Mining For Gold, was featured on the Cowboy Junkies’ landmark album. The Trinity Sessions. James Gordon is traveling to Mariposa this year in a houseboat that serves as his very own stage, anchored just a few feet from shore. What could be more pleasant than listening to beautiful music from a celebrated songwriter, while sitting on the shores of picturesque Lake Couchiching?
Certain musicians have a “je ne sais quoi” quality where you don’t know what it is exactly that makes her special, but you know that this artist is headed for bigger and better things. Such is the case with Jessica Rhaye and Mariposa audiences will get to see why at this year’s festival.
Joining her famous dad at Mariposa, Lucy Wainwright Roche carries on the musical torch passed by her dad and her mom – singer Suzzy Roche, of the Roches. Never mind her musical geneology: her great voice and a knack for tuneful, beautiful songs is the winning combination which convinced the Mariposa artistic committee to select her for the festival!
The Pork Belly Futures – Paul Quarrington, Martin Worthy, Chas Elliott, Richard Bell and Stuart Laughton – describe their music as “north country, born of the blues.” Their original songs are witty and touching and their live performances are characterized by “masterful instrumental work…and the occasional magic trick.” Experience their musical magic at Mariposa this year!
Andrew Collins on mandolin, Brad Keller on guitar, Brian Kobayakawa on bass and John Showman with his fiddle make up this dynamic and unique ensemble which pays tribute to the string band tradition.
Well-known dance callers David and Ann Kennett are noted for the traditional Canadian content of their program. They call regularly for the Orillia Folk Society, Wye Marsh Heritage Day, Celtic Roots Folk Festival, and they call with The Kempencelts at Mariposa Folk Festival. Retired teachers, they are frequent visitors to area schools, teaching and advising staff on the dance component of the physical education program.
A dynamic group of accomplished Celtic musicians, the Kempencelts performance on Mariposa’s dance stage is not to be missed. Fiddle players are Cheryl Wilson and Carol Kline. On guitar and bodhran are Chuck MacLeod and Brian Gogarty, and on stand up bass is Peter Cox. Dancing, toe tapping and foot stomping are strongly encouraged, so kick off your shoes and dance up a storm!
Few artists are invited to play Mariposa two years in a row. Amanda is an exception…because she’s exceptional! Her incredible voice and Latin style of music wins her new audiences every time she sings. Come see her on our workshop stages and in a guest appearance with the Sultans of String.
You might call it Cajun, but Kelly Thibodeaux likes to call it swamp rock. His driving, red hot, shuffling fiddling, mixed with kickin’ southern licks, makes bodies boogie, hearts thump and feet stomp. Described as some sort of musical voodoo priest, Thibodeaux can keep you on the dance floor until you’re transcendent with blissful exhaustion. On top of being a performer extraordinaire, he’s a great teacher, and can have you sawing out a pretty decent Cajun tune in practically no time. After 35 years of touring, playing and teaching, Kelly knows every little trick to keep faces smiling and souls singing.
Sid Dolgay performed at the very first Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia in 1961 as a member of The Travellers, a Canadian folk singing group that formed in the summer of 1953. They are best known for their rendition of a Canadian version of This Land Is Your Land with lyrics that reference Canadian geography. The group was formed as a result of singalongs at Camp Naivelt, a Jewish socialist vacation community operated by the United Jewish Peoples’ Order. Pete Seeger was a regular visitor to the camp and encouraged the group.
Emily Braden’s powerful voice, evocative of singers like Ella Fitzgerald, brought her to the attention of Harry Manx, one of Mariposa’s headline acts this year. Listen and judge for yourself when Emily backs-up Harry.
Marc Atkinson, a composer /arranger /producer/ multi-instrumentalist, is one of Canada’s most talented musicians. The music of the Marc Atkinson Trio good-naturedly welcomes all listeners aboard for an intriguing, exhilarating and unforgettable ride. Look for them Friday evening and Saturday at Mariposa!
Unique and interesting. These are just two adjectives used to describe this dynamic musical duo. A&R have been performing together for over 3 years now dating back to when they first met at an Audio Engineering and Music Production school in 2005. Their sound is very unique; combining elements of world, folk, dance, reggae and hip-hop using a acoustic guitar, box drum, vocal and steel pan.
Cindy Doire’s music delivers an inventive sound that dances back and forth across borders. She presents us with an interpretation of inspiring French jazz/folk music that unleashes a traveling French melody.
Yves Lambert, a former member of Quebec’s La Bottine Souriante, comes to Mariposa with his high energy, tuneful and exciting band. Yves Lambert, well known for his charisma and generosity on stage, is considered a reference point when it comes to Quebecois folk music. Certain Quebecois critics even regard him as a guiding light on the whole subject of Quebec’s cultural heritage. Through his long-time association with the band La Bottine Souriante, Yves Lambert was a founding member and pillar of the group from 1976 to 2002. For the past 30 years M. Lambert has been a driving force in giving traditional music the place that it deserves beyond the Quebec and Canadian borders, and now continues to pursue the adventure with his new up Le Bebert Orchestra!
Nobody will want to miss multi-media performance dub poet Michael St. George, who will appear on the Folk Play stage on both Saturday and Sunday. A native of Jamaica with a working-class upbringing, Michael has been performing live and recording his music since 1985. When he works with children, he focuses on the themes of justice and social equity, addressing issues and concerns relevant to children’s lives today. “Poor Michael couldn’t get out of the school, so many students wanted to talk to him. Our teachers and students were thrilled!” – St. Stephen School
Muhtadi is a percussionist who has appeared internationally at festivals, including Harbourfront’s Africaribeat, the International Children’s Milk Festival, and the Havana Jazz Festival. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, Muhtadi has been performing and teaching for over 30 years. His passion for the drum led him to organize The First International Drumming Festival in Toronto in June 2000. Now an annual event, the Festival attracts percussionists from across the world. Muhtadi will bring his drumming to the Folk Play stage on both Saturday and Sunday. “The history of drums from around the world was very interesting and students were engrossed. They obviously enjoyed getting to play the drums!” — Lord Dufferin School
Imagine Celtic mixed with traditional folk and country delivered by guitar or by accordian. Also imagine a sensitivity for working class people and union movements and you have a pretty good picture of what a class act Maria Dunn is.